Line-of-duty officer deaths decreased almost 40% in 2023

The number of officers shot and killed was down 25%.

January 11, 2024, 10:39 AM

New statistics released Thursday show law enforcement line-of-duty deaths decreased by 40% in 2023, including a sharp decrease in those shot and killed, according to a report from the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).

NLEOMF is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that tracks law enforcement related statistics.

As of Dec. 31, 2023, 136 federal, state and local law enforcement officers died in the line of duty compared to 224 officers in 2022.

Forty-seven officers were shot and killed in the line of duty in 2023. That represents a 25% decrease compared to the 63 officers who were shot and killed in 2022.

It also represents a reduction compared to the average of such deaths in the previous decade.

Pennsylvania State Police is seen in Harrisburg, Penn., on Jan. 8, 2020.
George Sheldon/Shutterstock, FILE

Fifty-two officers died of other causes in 2023, such as from falling objects, fire-related incidents, and medical-related illnesses, including Covid-19, heart attacks and strokes suffered while in performing official duties.

This represents a 53% decrease from the 110 officers who died under similar circumstances in 2022.

There was also a decrease in traffic fatalities in 2023, from 51 traffic-related deaths in 2022 to 37 in 2023.

"There is no such thing as 'good news' when reporting even a single officer being killed in the line-of-duty," said National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund CEO Bill Alexander.

"Yet we are encouraged to see fewer overall officer deaths across all major categories in 2023. Using and reporting on this data allows us to highlight the continuing dangers faced by our law enforcement professionals, particularly the number of officers who are shot and killed each year," he said.

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